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Just for Teachers

How to Get Donations to Your DonorsChoose.org Project

Scott Harrison is the Founder and CEO of charity: water.Hi DonorsChoose.org Teacher, I’ve run 5 or 6 campaigns where I ask my friends to donate to the cause I’m passionate about. What I’ve learned might help you, too. The most important thing about requesting donations is actually very simple. Direct email. Three of them to everyone you know. It feels a little uncomfortable, but it’s basically as simple as emailing everyone you know with a personal message that is heartfelt and sounds like you and well, is you. Your first batch of donations will come in which feels great. Then you
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5 Activities to Bring Your Students (Closer) Together

We asked DonorsChoose.org teachers for activities that make students feel welcome in the classroom. They shared enough ideas for a whole school year’s worth of warm fuzzies. Here are five of our favorites: The icebreaker that keeps on giving. In the first week of school, Jill Weaver’s students make birthday cards for the person sitting next to them. Using teamwork, the kids then line themselves up by age.  Throughout the year, the activity continues to reward. Jill explains: “When someone has a birthday, we get out their handmade card and the whole class signs it. It makes everyone feel accepted.”
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5 Awesome, Autumnal Videos Students Can Fall in Love With

Source: Petradr/SplashbaseAttention, teachers, fall has officially arrived! You may have already seen leaves changing and students rushing back to school in flannel and sweaters, so, in honor of the season, we’ve gathered a list of five engaging educational videos you can use in the classroom, or mine for inspiration for any other lesson plans you might have in the works. We hope these videos can help keep classrooms warm and vibrant from now until the chillier days in November and beyond! Why do leaves change color? It’s the simplest question we could think of for the season, and we found
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The Easy Ask: 3 Fundraising Tips for Teachers

Knee-deep in the school year, you realize your students could use more leveled readers. Or perhaps you dream of differentiating instruction with the aid of an iPad. Maybe it’s basic supplies you’re short on. No matter what your classroom needs are, a fully funded DonorsChoose.org teacher project will help you meet them. If you have a project to post but are hesitant about fundraising, check out these three easy-as-pie ideas from teachers who’ve been there: And now, the whipped cream and cherry on top. If this is your first ever DonorsChoose.org project, we’ve got a special code for you to share with your donors. When they use
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Teaming up: DICK’S Sporting Goods is Now a Vendor on DonorsChoose.org

You can now shop for your projects from a wide range of sports gear, equipment and apparel at DICK’S Sporting Goods!  DICK’S carries supplies for a wide range of sports, including baseball, basketball, football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming, volleyball, rugby, and many more. This is great news for school sports teams!  Last year, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation launched Sports Matter, an initiative to raise awareness and address the growing issue of underfunded youth athletics nationwide.  Continuing their efforts this year, they’ve teamed up with DonorsChoose.org to help underfunded public schools by sponsoring a Double Your Impact offer for
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How Teachers Can Help Send Their Students to Mars

A selfie taken by the Curiosity rover // NASAThe surface of Mars is freezing, rocky, volcanic, and often beset with storms that can envelop the entire planet. And right now, there’s a brave, curious 15-year-old sitting in a high school classroom who could be the first human to step into  that environment. How do we know? As new reports of water on Mars continue to unfold, NASA also reminded us that they’re working toward conducting the first manned mission to the red planet by 2030. Assuming NASA stays on track, and going off the average age of astronauts in the organization’s history,
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Teachers Know Best: Reflections from the Gates US Education Forum

At the Gates US Education Learning Forum last week, I found myself amidst education leaders from nonprofits, advocacy groups, and schools. The conversation focused on the Gates Foundation’s priorities for their Early Learning, College Readiness, and Post-Secondary Divisions. Attendees were encouraged to collaborate and exchange ideas. Despite inspiring talks from Ted Mitchell of the US Department of Education, Bill and Melinda Gates, and Gates Foundation US Program President Allan Golston, I learned the most from the teachers in attendance. The DonorsChoose.org model empowers and supports teachers directly, and we believe wholeheartedly that teachers know best what their students need to succeed. Here’s
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Choose to Code with Microsoft

We’re partnering with Microsoft to help students learn to code, and teachers can earn a $750 DonorsChoose.org gift code for their participation!  Check out the Choose to Code site for more information, quick start guide, overview video, and FAQ. To earn the $750 gift code, teachers will help at least 15 students complete a series of video tutorials and eventually create their own website. The curriculum has beginner and advanced tracks and is recommended for students in grades six and higher. The $750 gift codes are only available to the first 400 teachers that qualify, so be sure to take action soon. Microsoft Imagine gives
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Our Teachers School Us in Low Project Cost

You already know your chances for full funding are much higher when project cost is low. But how do you pull this off without sacrificing materials that your students need? We’re inspired by the creative ways DonorsChoose.org teachers keep their costs low and success levels high. Breaking Up is Wise to Do This back-to-school season, Mrs. Smithpeters funded $1210 worth of books for her classroom. She must have posted an impressive project! Except she didn’t. She posted four impressive projects. Mrs. Smithpeters divided her book needs into groups, each priced well under $400. Now her room is stocked with engaging favorites like Nate
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What the Student Architects of Tomorrow Are Building Today

That floating city that showed up in the skies of China may have been a mirage, but the cities of the future are coming, and the architects who will build them are sitting in class right now. These students are making very real strides toward becoming the urban planners, architects, and engineers of the future. And we’re not ruling floating cities out just yet. Mrs. Hermsmeier’s students build with the blocks, collapsing bridge, and other materials she requested in her project Engineers and Architects and Critical Thinkers—Oh My!  The groundwork for an addition to the skyline? Mrs. Dixon’s Learning with Legos project facilitates hand-on learning. Teachers, want to bring building materials into your classroom?
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